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Dr. Bernie Mason passes

Dr. Mason served the community of Princeton with great dedication as a physician for 28 years and as the area coroner for over 20 years.
Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Mason and family arrived in Princeton in 1971 and remained until 1999 when he and wife Florence retired to the Sunshine Coast. Dr. Mason served the community with great dedication for 28 years.

In August of 1971, Dr. Bernard (Bernie) and Mrs. Mason (Florence) along with their three children, were welcomed by the community of Princeton. Coming from Biggar Saskatchewan, the Mason family planned to stay in Princeton for six months to a year and then move on to post-graduate work in Oregon. The Mason family being sports orientated and outdoor enthusiasts, thoroughly enjoyed the Princeton Curling Rink, hockey and the natural beauty of the area.

Dr. Mason was highly respected by his colleagues and patients for his extraordinary gifts and after serving the community of Biggar for five years, he then brought his expertise to Princeton. Although the plan was to stay for a short time only, Dr. Mason and family made Princeton their home.

He served the community with great dedication as a physician for 28 years and as the area coroner for over 20 years.

Dr. Bernard Mason died in St. Mary’s Hospital in Sechelt, B.C. on Friday, May 20, 2011, after a lengthy illness. Born in Docking, Norfolk, England on August 4, 1933, he served in the Royal Air Force before emigrating to Canada with his first wife and young son on the Empress of Scotland in 1954. They moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he transferred to the RCAF and became a pilot. After a few years, he began his studies at the University of Manitoba and received his MD in 1966.

Dr. and Mrs. Mason retired to the Sunshine Coast in 1999. Bernie was busy perfecting his gourmet cooking skills when Dr. Walter Burtnick encouraged him to come back to work as a locum. He enjoyed another five years of medical practice.

Family and  friends will miss his ready smile, sense of humour, stimulating conversation and witty repartee. He was skilled at playing duplicate bridge, solving cryptic crosswords, golfing and enjoyed time spent on the water.

Dr. Mason is survived by his wife and partner in life, Florence, his son Richard (Jamie) Mason of Lancaster, Ohio, his daughter Barbara (David) King of Kenora, Ontario,  as well as by the family he shared with Florence in their 40 years of marriage; Tim Keogan (Cathy Olsen) of Brooks, Alberta; Jeff Keogan (Kathy) of Jasper, Alberta; Lisa Keogan (Jim Hiebert) of Brooks and Michael (Bonnie) Keogan of Regina, Saskatchewan. He is also survived by his many grandchildren, his great grandson and two great grandchildren who will be born soon. He was predeceased by his son Christopher in 1997 and his daughter Laurel in 2008. He is also survived his brother, Sir John Mason, sister Monica Playford, both of England and was predeceased by his brothers; Raymond and Neville.

At Dr. Mason’s request, no funeral service will be held. A gathering of friends and family will be held on August 4, 2011 at the Port Stalashen clubhouse in Wilson Creek. Memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation in Sechelt, to the Princeton General Hospital Foundation or to the charity of your choice.

Farewell to you good Sir, with thanks from the community of Princeton, and to Mrs. Mason and family—our thoughts are with you.